Collaborative learning-work occurs in the context of a group with a common mission or agreed-upon-purpose. The work involves the structuring and restructuring of conceptual knowledge. The final product is a message, an external representation or "artifact" of the group knowledge at a particular point in time, which communicates the knowledge of the group.
The message might take the form of a software program, a report, a strategy document, a diagram, a drawing, etc. Learning-work involves the cognitive processes of assimilation (intake of information from the environment, accommodation), restructuring to fit new into the old, present structure, and integration (directly fitting information into existing structure). And most importantly it involves the resolution of conflict between old and new knowledge structures, which can lead to innovation.
Goal of collaborative learning work: creating shared meaning, knowledge in a team
The goal of collaborative learning work is the creation of a mutual knowledge structure which is derived from group consensus. For example, a work group engaging in the process of design would ideally need to pool their individual knowledge in order to create a new product. They will eventually want to create a shared meaning, which would allow them to take action together to carry out the design.